CCNA 2013: Your Concerns Answered

We've received lots of questions concerning the changes Cisco is making to the CCNA exam and syllabus, so we thought we'd post answers to the most common queries.

What changes are Cisco making to the CCNA?

Cisco has made some changes to Associate-level certifications and also renamed the CCNA certification to CCNA Routing and Switching certification. 
The CCNA certification has changed from a foundation certification to a concentration certification.

How is the CCNA Routing and Switching different from the current CCNA?
CCNA Routing and Switching is the same certification as the CCNA, however the syllabuses for ICND1, ICND2 and CCNA Composite have been changed to keep up with technology advancements and job roles.

Are the CCNA Routing and Switching exams changing?
Yes, the exams are changing due to the new syllabuses. The current CCNA/CCENT/ICND2 exams will be retired on September 30, 2013.

 

How are the new exams harder than the current versions?
Yes, Cisco has taken topics from the ICND2 and included them in the ICND1 exam, such as OSPF, NAT, IPv6 and VLSM subnetting, making the CCENT certification a much tougher assignment.
The new ICND2 exam will include some topics from the CCNP such as multi-area OSPF, OSPF3, Sysylog, Netflow and EtherChannel. This really makes the CCNA Routing and Switching certificate a hard-to-get cert.

Can I mix and match the current exams with newer exams to achieve CCNA Routing and Switching?
Yes, you can mix current ICND1 exam with newer ICND2 exam or vice versa. However, note that several topics have been added to the new ICND1 and ICND2 syllabus. So if you take the new versions of these exams then you need to be prepared to answer questions on the new topics.

What has changed between the current ICND1, ICND2, and CCNA Composite exams and the newer versions of these exams?
To ensure the certifications are up-to-date with current technology, some older topics have been removed from the syllabus and several new topics have been added.
If you take the new versions of these exams then you need to be prepared to answer questions on the new topics.

What new topics are in the new CCNA Routing and Switching exam?

 

  • SNMP v1 and V2
  • NTP (Network Time Protocol)
  • More emphasis on IPv6
  • High availability via FHRP
  • Be able to troubleshooting everything!

Have I wasted my time learning the current CCNA?
No, the fundamentals of networking do not change, the new exams include some new topics and some have been removed, but the bulk of the syllabus will remain unchanged.

I bought a training package from your company recently, is it up-to-date?
Yes. So as long as you take your exams by 30 September 2013 and pass you will be CCNA certified. Your goal should be to pass by 30 September 2013, which gives you 6 months. We will update our training materials for the new syllabus in due course should you need to sit the new exam.

Should I stop my studies and wait to study the new version?
We advise you to continue studying and aim to take the exam before 30 September 2013. If you wait for the new version you will only delay your career. You'll probably have to start studying from the beginning again, and the new exam will be tougher than the current version.

Is the ICND2 exam required to achieve the CCNA Wireless, CCNA Voice, or CCNA Security certifications?
No. From March 26, 2013, you will only need to pass the ICND2 exam to achieve the CCNA Routing and Switching. You will only need to have a valid CCENT as a prerequisite for CCNA Wireless, CCNA Voice, or CCNA Security certifications.

Is the ICND2 exam required to achieve the CCDA certification?
No. From October 1, 2013, you will only need to have a valid CCENT, or CCNA Routing and Switching or any CCIE certification as a prerequisite.

My CCNA expires within 12 months, what should I do?
We strongly recommend you to recertify before the end of September 2013 before the current exams are retired, otherwise you will need to learn the new syllabus and take the new CCNA Routing and Switching exam.

What are the recertification requirements for the new CCNA Routing and Switching?
The CCNA Routing and Switching certification is valid for three years, then you will need to recertify just like the current CCNA.

New CCNA Exams for 2013

Cisco have announced that they will be retiring the current version of CCNA and CCENT/ICND2 exams at the end of September 2013. Read more about the 2013 CCNA changes.

Here are the current exam codes along with new exam codes that replace them:

The CCNA composite exam 200-120 is replacing the 640-802 CCNA composite exam from 1st October 2013.

The CCENT/ICND1 exam 100-101 is replacing the 640-822 ICND1 from 1st October 2013.

The ICND2 exam 200-101 ICND2 is replacing the 640-816 ICND2 from 1st October 2013.

CCNA Exam Changes from Oct 2013

Cisco have just announced that they will be retiring the current version of CCNA and CCENT/ICND2 exams at the end of September 2013.  Read the full press release over on the Cisco website.

The new exams will be A LOT harder than the current versions, and this means you only have until 30th September 2013 to study and pass your CCNA before the exam syllabus changes, your CCNA certification will then last you 3 years as usual.

Here are a few things that will be included in the new exam...

  • IOS v15 commands
  • IPv6 configuration
  • 802.1x security
  • Advanced troubleshooting scenarios

Devices that run Cisco IOS v15 are very expensive at the moment so setting up a home lab probably won't be an option from October 2013 until the foreseeable future.

Also, no study guides or study materials will exist for the new exams for quite a while yet, so if you've been thinking about getting your CCNA, this is really your LAST OPPORTUNITY before things become a whole lot harder and more expensive for you. 

Over the next few weeks and months we will be updating our training ready for the new exam, but we strongly advise you to begin your CCNA studies as soon as possible.

CCNA 640-802

CCNA 640-802 refers to an expired version of the Cisco Certified Network Associate exam. The new CCNA exam that replaces the 640-802 is CCNA 200-120.

The CCNA exam is 90 minutes long and contains between 45-55 questions.  It is available in English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Korean, French, Portuguese languages.

The 200-120 exam tests your knowledge of networking, in particular it covers the following topics:

  1. Network media
  2. TCP/IP and OSI models
  3. IP addressing
  4. Switching and routing fundamentals
  5. Access Control Lists (ACL)
  6. Virtual LANs (VLAN)
  7. Wide Area Networks (WAN)
  8. Operating and configuring IOS devices

Click here to locate a test center.

Alternatively you could choose to earn your CCNA via the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT™) pathway, which divides the CCNA course into two exams making it easier to study.